Erased…? by Annabelle Zhang

COURSE: Art 525: Advanced Typography

MEDIUM: 3D Printing

This project explores the concept of timeliness in relation to paper, using embossing as a method of inquiry. Using a type embosser created through 3D printing, the focus is not on designing a solution but instead on utilizing the medium to pose a question. The act of embossing serves as a metaphor for the impermanence and malleability of information, questioning the extent to which written data on paper can be forgotten. This inquiry dives into the nature of paper itself—a medium born from wood fiber, capable of being curved, written on, wrapped, torn, and shaped, serving as a vessel for documenting and disseminating knowledge.

Combining the inquiry using both paper and 3D printing, I want to explore the intersection of tradition and innovation and ask what the progression of time might wash away. Historically, embossing signified authenticity and was reserved for high-end applications, but like 3D printing today, it has evolved into a more accessible and rapid production method. This transformation mirrors the fluidity and perpetual evolution of ideas, language, and information and questions whether the old information would truly erode. The font used on the type embosser was first designed in Adobe Illustrator to mimic erosion. The 2D outline was later exported into a type embosser, first outlining the 2D font design in Adobe Illustrator, then exported into Rhinoceros 3D (Rhino) for 3D modeling of the type embosser. The final product was printed using a Bamboo Lab 3D printer.

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